Tonight as I was folding clothes, I wondered how I had let the neat, folded piles get so tall? How long has it been since I’ve really done laundry? I know I have thrown in some jeans, and I have thrown in some underwear. But, how long since I’ve washed it all?
Honestly? I can’t remember.
I wonder if I am floating through motherhood the same way I seem to be floating along, doing the urgent laundry, but not the complete laundry? Am I only covering those urgent mothering episodes—settling the fights, stopping the yelling, kissing the foreheads goodnight?
What about the complete mothering? Am I covering those areas? Do my girls feel secure, and peaceful? Do they feel nurtured? Or do they feel the frantic pace that I, myself, cannot seem to keep up?
Doing the complete laundry like tonight makes me slow down, and think. I like to be meticulous as I shake out each piece, making sure even the hem is turned down, and smoothed. I fold their shirts so that the sleeves are turned inward at the angle that won’t wrinkle. I smile as I fold the tiny socks together, and think about the little feet that patter through the house and slide on the floors.
With this act of folding, I feel myself slowing down. My brain getting quiet, and still. I watch my hands lovingly smooth out the wrinkles in each piece. Making stacks that are straight, and ordered. Being thoughtful and measured with this task.
How do I transfer this thoughtful order to mothering? How can I slow the pace, and spend time quietly smoothing out the wrinkles with my daughters? How do I get a measured pace that is not just driving to the next thing in the van?
I long for walks with talking. Discovering hidden creeks together. Reading together with no agenda but pure enjoyment. Sharing a chocolate shake. Snuggling so close that we feel each other breathing.
I can do this. I am going to start today. Right now. I’m going to climb into my daughter’s bed, pull the covers over us both, and scoot in close to her. For a few moments, I want to breathe in her soapy scent, smooth out her long hair that’s begun to tangle on the pillow—marveling at its beautiful golden streaks--and breathe a prayer of utter thankfulness for this gift. This precious gift of motherhood that I don’t want to lose one moment of.
Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts of motherhood today...this prayer for mothering I don't even know the words to pray, the nagging questions and doubts that never get answered, the daily stumbling around, running around to places that, in the end, seem unimportant...
One thing I AM certain: Oh, how I love those girls. Overwhelmingly. And, OH, how I need help from above to raise them in the way they deserve.
How do you do it? And what are the words of your mothering prayers?